Beromünster Ascension Day procession

Ceremonial and supplicatory processions through fields and meadows on and around Ascension Day (the festival marking Christ's ascension to heaven on the fortieth day after Easter) were once widespread in Catholic regions. Like the Corpus Christi processions, they took on their traditional festive character during the Counter-Reformation. In the Baroque period, they were often even more elaborate and at times pompous. Today, only the Canton of Lucerne has preserved these traditional Ascension Day processions in the form of a religious ritual. Extended processions take place in six locations, with participants travelling either on foot or by horse, depending on their function in the traditional hierarchy. The largest, oldest and most famous of these events is the Ascension Day procession in Beromünster. Each year, around 1,000 people embark on the 18-kilometre route, or at least individual stages of it, in order to walk, meditate and pray in the company of others, receive blessings or listen to sermons by members of the clergy. From Beromünster, the procession follows a fixed, centuries-old route through neighbouring towns and villages, returning to the starting point after eight-and-a-half hours. There it is met by up to 5,000 people, who come to celebrate the end of the festival together with the pilgrims.

Detailed description




Ursula Brunner, Andreas Capella: Auffahrtsumritt Beromünster (Film). Luzern, 2005

Helene Büchler-Mattmann (Ed.): Uffert. 500 Jahre Auffahrtsumritt Beromünster. Beromünster, 2009

Alfred Schaller-Donauer: Der Auffahrtsumritt in Sempach. In: Schweizerisches Archiv für Volkskunde 17. Basel, 1913, p. 245-247

Ludwig Suter-Brun: Der Auffahrtsumritt Beromünster. In: Volksfrömmigkeit in der Schweiz. Ed. Ernst Halter, Dominik Wunderlin, Giorgio von Arb. Zürich, 1999, p. 454-463




Auskunftsstelle für allgemeine Fragen
Ludwig Suter

Kommandant Auffahrtsumritt
Pius Muff

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